A Surefire Way to Lose Almost Any Guy
A friend was giving someone some real estate advice. He was
in his mid-40s, held a law degree and a teaching credential, and the advice was
sound. A receptionist, all of 22, started chiming into the conversation (of
which she had not been a part). "Randy, how do you know these
things?" He continued. She persisted, "How do you know?" He
finally acknowledged her, "Well, these are pretty standard
principles." "No, I'm asking how do YOU know?" "Because I'm
not 22 years old and starting from zero."
Of course, she got very upset, and asked me why Randy had to
talk to her that way. I responded, "Because you were being contentious
with him." It's also no coincidence that she was very pretty, yet her
social life consisted of one or two dates and then the guy would never call her
We've all known contentious people. Remember that girl in
high school? She would sit in class, making little faces at the statements of
others. Then the dam would break, and she'd come bursting forth with a
criticism of everyone else, telling everyone what was wrong with them. It was not
based on a genuine difference of opinion; it was argument for the sake of
argument. It was not so much an attack on what was being said as who was saying it.
Now, I am not talking about being assertive, which is a good
thing. Men actually admire women who can stick up for themselves. An assertive
woman is pleasant and sweet, but not a doormat. There is a big difference
between being assertive and being contentious.
Say you're in a restaurant and you don't have a place
setting. The assertive woman would do something along the lines of saying in a
polite tone of voice, "Excuse me, I didn't get a place setting." The
contentious woman would say something more along the lines of, "Can I have
some silverware so I can eat?" in a tone of voice that leaves no doubt
that she is disgusted.
The contentious woman is not necessarily a man hater; women
are targets as well. She feels she is a "master of confrontations"
and your gender, age, race, or numbers don't scare her. But the truth is everything
she's doing is out of fear.
People are contentious because they are threatened by
others. A contentious woman may be threatened by other women, she may be
threatened by someone else being more intelligent or having greater experience,
she may be threatened by a group from which she feels excluded, or the fact
that someone else is well-liked and gets more attention. In short, she is
afraid of rejection, so she rejects others in a preemptive strike. She feels
inferior, so she attempts to bring others down rather than bringing herself up.
One example most women will relate to, and have experienced,
is this: You're in a social situation. A guy is there, he's good-looking, he
has a certain charm about him, he's telling good jokes, and people like him. In
the background you see a guy glaring at him. Eventually, this guy makes his way
over and starts demeaning, belittling or challenging the man. Now, clearly, the
guy is threatened because the other guy is cooler than he is.
But let me ask you, would you want go out with the
contentious fellow? Could you imagine what it would be like to be in a
relationship with someone like that? Men feel the same way.
To summarize, contentiousness is the one quality that will
turn off nearly any man in the world instantly. To be contentious is like
wearing a sign that says, "Please let me spend my life alone, angry and